Stolen SD card exposes personal data from Canadian firm

Oct 10th, 2013 / Category: Managed File Transfer

Data exposure can wreak havoc at organizations tasked with protecting personal information. Whether by intentional or unintentional actions, firms often experience events that have major repercussions, placing greater emphasis on secure file sharing solutions to ensure content is always protected.

This level of safety is especially pertinent at healthcare organizations, which can receive hefty fines if they do not follow compliance guidelines on keeping data safe from loss, theft or exposure. Canada's Region of Peel recently experienced an incident that affected more than 18,000 of its clients who participated in its Peel Public Health's Healthy Babies Healthy Children initiative.

Emil Kolb, chair of the Region of Peel, issued a statement detailing the event, explaining that breach occurred because a bag containing an unencrypted SD card was stolen from an employee's car. The card included client names, birth dates, addresses and other personal information.

Kolb asserted that the event is an isolated incident and that Region of Peel will help those affected understand the impact of the breach.

"I want to reassure the public that this was an isolated incident. It is not standard or acceptable practice for us to put client information on unencrypted devices," Kolb said. "As part of our investigation into this breach, we will be examining all of our privacy and protection protocols, and tightening controls on the information that has been entrusted to us."

Organizations that fail to protect client information can experience several negatives when it comes to the public eye. If people do not feel that a company can keep their personal data safe at all times, they will likely go elsewhere for particular services. The Region of Peel incident should be a wakeup call for firms that a lot can go wrong with data exposure. Employees are often the cause behind these types of events, which are not always malicious in intent.

Workers already have plenty on their plates when it comes to performing their jobs and anything that makes life more difficult for them on a daily basis is not a welcome addition to the office. This means that data protection tools that are not easy to understand and use will upset the workforce. Secure file sharing solutions, on the other hand, meet these requirements, ensuring staff members will use these tools to ensure data is safe while it is at rest or in transit.